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Wells Fargo Reps Boost Production; Headcount Falls: Q4 Earnings

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Wells Fargo’s Wealth and Investment Management business reported a 16% year-over-year jump in average yearly fees and commissions per advisor for the fourth quarter of 2021.

This figure, often referred to as advisor production, stood at $1.17 billion for the quarter versus $1.10 billion in the year-earlier period. The fourth-quarter tally was up 2% from the prior quarter’s $1.14 billion.

Total assets for the business unit stood at nearly $2.2 trillion, up 9% from a year ago and 4% from the earlier quarter.

But the wealth unit’s number of financial and wealth advisors continues to tumble. This headcount dropped 8% year over year to 12,367 from 13,513, and it declined 1% from the prior quarter’s 12,552.

The bank had 15,086 registered reps as of Sept. 30, 2016, when it began making headlines for its fake-accounts scandal.

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Revenues for its wealth and investment business grew 6% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier to $3.65 billion, while profits improved 11% to $564 million.

Overall, Wells Fargo’s total profits jumped 86% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from the prior year to $5.75 billion, as earnings per share soared 109% to $1.38, topping analyst estimates.

Revenues improved 13% from a year ago to $20.86 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, which also beat expectations.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the bank’s results included both a restructuring charge and costs for remediation to clients tied to fraudulent accounts.

“The changes we’ve made to the company and continued strong economic growth prospects make us feel good about how we are positioned entering 2022,” CEO Charles Scharf said in a statement. “But we also remain cognizant that we still have a multiyear effort to satisfy our regulatory requirements — with setbacks likely to continue along the way — and we continue our work to put exposures related to our historical practices behind us.”

(Image: Bloomberg)